dust devils


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dust devils

Whirlwinds in which wind speeds are of of gale-force strength and in which surface dust is picked up and carried in dense columns of 5000 ft or more in height. They are formed as a result of the strong convection currents in the hot and dusty regions, such as deserts and other locations where the ground is very hot. Dust devils resemble tiny tornadoes, but they are caused by convective processes and produce significantly less damage than tornadoes. In many cases, they cause no damage of consequence. Also called a dust whirl or sand whirl.
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A dust devil suddenly formed and headed towards the launch area, catching the paraglider and flinging him into the air.
But what is a 'dust devil' and what causes the bizarre natural phenomenon?
Met Office spokesman Grahame Madge said the video appears to show what is known as a "dust devil", which forms at ground level as air rises and starts to rotate in a column.
Sometimes these grains get swept up into a twisting dust devil like this one.
Shorter Martian vortices can be measured from lander images taken at the surface, but the tallest dust devils must be measured from above by orbiting spacecraft using shadow lengths and the angle of solar incidence.
This rotation of the plume is thought to trigger lightning, dust devils and waterspouts in much the same way as tornados.
He is the lead author of a paper, "Oxidant Enhancement in Martian Dust Devils and Storms: Implications for Life and Habitability," that discusses the research in an issue earlier this year of the journal Astrobiology.
Dust devils dance like whirling dervishes not far from our camp, driven by rising thermals.
The increase in global dust lifting by both wind stress and "dust devils" may affect the mechanisms that trigger the initiation of large dust storms.
Interactive exhibits allow visitors to recreate its wispy dust devils that whirl across the surface and global dust storms that can engulf the planet.
Weatherman Michael Dukes said dust devils - even of this strength - were quite common in Britain, although more often associated with the deserts of north Africa and Australia.
Storm Hunters: Fury on the Plains (C4, 8pm) goes to Tornado Alley during the season in a quest to experience the magnificent storms of giant hail, dust devils, lightning and the ultimate prize - a tornado.